Wine Culture Magazine

Landscape with vineyards near Castagnoli. Getty Images photo

Chianti wines have been made in Tuscany since at least 1716, and for many years were associated with budget-friendly spaghetti dinners and the cute straw basket known as a “fiasco” that the bottle was wrapped in. They are predominantly made from Sangiovese grapes, which have cherry and other red fruit notes, as well as savoury flavours like roasted pepper, tomato, leather, tobacco, earth and thyme.

In August, BC Liquor Stores did a Chianti promotion that allowed us to taste through a bunch of wines, and we were delighted by what we discovered. For one thing, Chianti isn’t cheap spaghetti vino any more, but elegant and well-structured wine that offers good value for high quality. For another, the distinctive fruit and savoury notes of contemporary Chianti are beautifully integrated, making them versatile and food friendly.

Three Chiantis to try


Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2017
(Tuscany, Italy, $48.99) Ripe plum, black cherry, violet, chocolate, spice.


Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico Riserva 2019

Tuscany, Italy, $28.99) Juicy, dark, complex; blackberry, plum, earth, tobacco.


Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2018
(Tuscany, Italy, $34.99) Ripe red fruit, chestnut, floral and woodsy notes.

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